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tv   State of the Union  CNN  January 9, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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>> the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun site over our district. when people do that, they have to realize there's consequences to that action. >> and now that giffords is fighting for her life from a near fatal gunshot wound, arizona has become the catalyst for two now national debates, gun control and the power of words. >> i think we're the tombstone of the united states of america. that's the ridiculous stayed to where we have become. >> make sure you stay tuned to cnn for more developments on this story. i'm don lemon at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. have a great week, everyone. stay safe. i'll see you back here next weekend.
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we're watching this story, this is a large earthquake, the damage potential is significant. >> breaking news tonight. this disaster that is currently unfolding in haiti. >> there are reports of dead bodies and fears of mass casualties. >> one of the orphanages we went to had 200 babies and serious problems because they're lacking all of the basic supplies. >> the united states is offering our full assistance to haiti and to others in the region. >> there are so many orphans, there are 380,000 orphans, that's the count before the earthquake, and one has to imagine, some of these kids are
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going to die while everybody waits. >> we start walking back towards the orphanage, we're walking up, and the kids are outside. and the kids were crying. they were praying. they were shaking. we weren't sure if they were okay or not. i didn't see cendy at that point. >> when the earthquake hit, cendy jeune was 6 years old. a child caught in the chaos of enormous disaster, an orphan swept up in a catastrophe. she had spent most of her young life at the orphanage, la maison de lumiere, the lighthouse. tell me about cendy when she came. >> she was quiet, withdrawn, distrustful. >> reporter: scared? >> scared, but yet not. like, she has this very tough exterior, if you see her, she's like, i'm going to walk through this. and i'm going to show you that
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i'm -- that i'm not okay, but it's where i'm at and just leave me alone. you know what i mean? so she just kind of plows through life. >> reporter: tough little kid? >> she's tough, yeah. >> reporter: cendy was one of 47 boys and girls under care of americans bill and susette manassero. ♪ >> reporter: christians on a mission to help haiti's children. ♪ >> reporter: what do you think she can be? >> she could probably be anything she wants to. she's a real smart kid. she's a neat little personality. >> reporter: when the earthquake hit, cendy was one of those haitian children whose faces cry out in the worldwide appeals for charity. this is the story of cendy jeune, and all haiti's orphans. cendy was just 2 when she arrived at the lighthouse. this was supposed to be her second chance at life. >> a, b, c -- >> a, b --
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>> -- d, e, f, g. >> reporter: cendy's parents abandoned her. cendy's aunt, a wash lady at the orphanage, wanted to help, but she was already raising five children of her own, so she took cendy to the manasseros. >> you don't want to talk? >> reporter: from the beginning, cendy was quiet and detached. but she loved going to school. >> good job. circle the same one. >> this is from, like, not even a year ago, back in may of cendy. like, kind of when we first started. and then this is now. like just the difference between the two. it's just really cool to see them change. she has so much less anger. like she used to -- i would have to hold her and she would cry, and cry and cry if i wasn't holding her. ♪ ♪ i love to see you >> reporter: she became the baby of the orphanage, the darling of the lighthouse staff.
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>> this one wouldn't even let me pick her up from before. >> reporter: from the beginning, cendy was shy, but slowly she began to warm up. >> cendy is very private, not real trusting. very smart. very intelligent kid. she is also very silly, goofy, and totally -- i mean crazy sometimes. >> reporter: bill manassero remembers when he began to break through. >> there was the day she grabs my hand, and i just held onto her hand, i just closed my eyes, and i just -- i couldn't -- i didn't want to let go of her. i didn't want to let go. >> reporter: it was a big step for her? >> it was huge. it was huge for me. that she would even do that. and then she started -- >> reporter: are you crying? >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: you don't have to apologize. >> no. i just looked at this beautiful
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little girl, and i just said how in the world can anybody want to leave this -- you know let this little baby go? >> reporter: the manasseros were about to find out, because one day in 2007, nearly two years after cendy arrived at the orphanage, her parents showed up out of nowhere, asking to see their now 4-year-old daughter and threatening to take her back. >> the mom hasn't seen her in about 18 months. so she's going to be a little scared. ouncer ] you're at the age where you don't get thrown by curve balls. ♪ this is the age of knowing how to get things done. ♪ so why would you let something like erectile dysfunction get in your way? isn't it time you talked to your doctor about viagra? 20 million men already have. ♪ with every age comes responsibility. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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see if america's most prescribed ed treatment ♪ sing polly wolly doodle all the day ♪ ♪ hah
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♪ q, r, s >> okay, sit down, babe.
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>> reporter: it's 2007, an average day at the orphanage for cendy. >> left foot, left foot, right. >> reporter: school, recess. >> duck, duck, goose. >> reporter: a game of "duck duck goose." she's now 4 years old and hasn't seen her parents in two years. then one day they show up. >> okay, come on. >> the mom hasn't seen her in about 18 months so she's going to be a little scared. here we are. are you going to say hi? are you going to say hi? tell them that she seems like she's a little scared. she doesn't know what this meeting means, probably.
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she saw you last time, a long time ago, 18 months. ask her if she remembers you. >> cendy? cendy? >> reporter: cendy has lived with bill and susette for more than two years. >> cendy? >> she doesn't want to leave necessarily, right. >> reporter: cendy's mother, katia, is unsure what to do. >> translator: no one was looking after her. i gave her to her father to take away. >> reporter: cendy's father didn't keep her either. after she showed up at the orphanage, he suspects that his aunt profited from giving up cendy. susette assures him that is not the case. >> tell them, thank you for coming. it's important that she knows who you are. tell them to feel free to come any time.
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say bye-bye. say bye-bye. >> reporter: her parents leave. >> this is her birth certificate. >> reporter: susette and bill are the legal guardians of all children at the orphanage. >> we have high walls and we have barbed wire and we have guards. and that's not to keep our children locked in. it's to keep undesirables out. so if a parent wants to come back and take their child, we're not against that. >> when do you think the next time she will visit? >> translator: next sunday. >> reporter: cendy's parents never return for her. she joins the 380,000 children being raised in haiti without parents. >> the term "orphanage" is a technical term here in haiti. as you just saw, cendy's got a
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mom and a dad, but when we got her, she didn't have them. the term "orphanage," i mean, it's a difficult one. because in -- technically they're not orphans because in some sense they are because they don't have their mom and their dead dad. because of the situation here in haiti, the kids are so impoverished, and i try not to judge that because i have never lived in that state of destitution. >> reporter: bill and susette opened their orphanage to address just these circumstances. >> this may or may not be our baby because a really big thing in haiti is that baby's mothers -- or ladies will rent babies from other mothers, saying they will take care of their babies so that the mother can work. and then the baby helps her to earn a living while she's -- while she's out on the street.
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>> reporter: at the urging of their eldest daughter, arianna, bill and susette manassero visited haiti in 2004. they were consumed by a desire to help the children. haiti has among the highest rates of infant mortality, child sex trafficking, and child slavery in the world. >> stay there. >> go back and stay there, huh. >> yeah. >> reporter: a year later, the manasseros joined a legion of american christian missionaries in haiti. >> let's see if i have anything. >> it's very high pressure for these kids. a lot of the kids, you'll see, they've got burn marks. some of them have been hit in the head with, you know, side view mirrors and some these kids are 6, 7 years old and they get badly beaten up just walking and working the street here. >> this is what i do for school. >> reporter: you started with all boys? >> all boys, 12. >> and this is me.
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>> and we just saw a slow, but amazing, transformation go on in their lives. >> reporter: when did you start the girls' orphanage? >> that started december 2006. >> reporter: where most orphanages aim to get haitian children adopted abroad, the manasseros choose to raise the children in their homeland. >> high foot, high foot, low foot. >> i don't believe the answer is to take everybody's children in these countries and ship them off. >> reporter: what is the answer? >> every person has to do their part. you know, for us it's to stay here and to try to raise these kids up in a way that they can give back to their nation. >> reporter: marc kenson olibris was one of the first boys at cendy's orphanages. his story gives hope for a little girl like cendy. marc kenson was born in a rural village with wrenching poverty. life was so desperate there that
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his father sold marc kenson and his sister to a stranger. they became child slaves, restavecs, literally the creole words for "stay with." were you a restavec? >> resta -- >> reporter: a restavec, a child save. >> oui. >> yeah. >> reporter: and your sister? >> translator: the same, yeah. >> reporter: marc kenson was 9. his sister was 6. an estimated 300,000 haitian children live legally as slaves. how much money did the woman who paid your parents, how much did she pay for you? >> me and my sister? >> reporter: yes, you and mona. >> 120. >> reporter: 120 haitian dollars? >> haitian dollars. >> reporter: which is like $10, $12 u.s.?
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>> yeah. >> reporter: someone bought you for $12? do you ever think about that? it doesn't make you mad, angry? marc kenson's not angry because he says he understands his parent's desperation. haiti had an 85% unemployment rate even before the earthquake. but he hated life with the woman. she made him call her "auntie." >> translator: she would hold me and beat me. when she was finished, i would run away. she would beat me when i didn't bring money for her. >> reporter: with that memory in mind, marc kenson takes us to one of haiti's worst slums. >> translator: this is where i used to live. >> reporter: we're looking for the auntie who kept him as a slave.
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>> reporter: la saline, a sprawling slum at the edge of the sea. this is not earthquake damage.
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>> no, no, no, no. >> reporter: it's part market, part trash heap, a place where sewage and animals and children share space. there are children everywhere, living just like marc kenson once did. it seems like this just goes on forever. oh, it's hot. >> she's the wife of the person who lives here. >> reporter: his home was this tin hut with his sister and three adults. may we go inside? what do you think when you come in? >> i say, god, thank you. >> reporter: the hut is 10 feet by 12 feet, steaming hot and rank with the smell of sewage.
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the auntie who kept marc kenson is gone. this woman and her husband still live here. ♪ ♪ child slavery ♪ traffickers in the street ♪ selling our kids >> reporter: each day marc kenson followed a trail of children from la saline into the streets to beg. he's come so far. but sharing his past is painful. so you'd run out into traffic, basically? >> yeah. >> reporter: and ask someone, do you want am toe wipe your car down? >> yeah. >> reporter: the life he once lived passes by in a flash. child slave. street beggar.
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his life of destitution ended when he approached a missionary who took him to the lighthouse. ♪ >> reporter: when you came, did you want to help every single person? >> when i came i -- i did, and i was told not to. from very well-meaning people that have been here a long time. they said put blinders on and do nothing but what you have been called to do or you'll get scattered. >> reporter: a tough decision every time, whether to take on one more child. this is a drop in the bucket for what haiti needs. >> it's, you know, kind of the old story of the kid, you know, sitting there throwing starfish into the sea, you know? and, you know, thousands of them on -- you know, the person walks up and says, why are you throwing that -- do you think you're going to do any good?
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you're just going to throw a few in. but for this one it is really going to make a difference, you know? and that's really it, you know? it's one kid at a time. >> reporter: the starfish, children like cendy jeune, with no place to go. and marc kenson, a former street beggar. just the kind of children the manasseros were looking to help. >> our criterion in picking children is the high-risk child. it could be a child that's living on the street, that -- whose parents sent them from the countryside to earn some money. there's nobody out there advocating for him. they can get hit by a car, they can get raped, murdered. >> reporter: at first marc kenson was suspicious of the white americans running the orphanage. were you afraid? >> translator: i heard from other kids that they would treat you badly. >> reporter: instead, he got
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food, a place to live, an education. what would you like your next job to be? if you could pick anything to be. >> i like mechanic. >> reporter: you would like to be a mechanic? >> yeah. >> he's definitely not a classical definition of an orphan. but when you have a child who's living on the streets, sleeping on the streets, begging to survive, in many regards they are in a situation where as if they have no parents. ♪ my everything >> reporter: marc kenson says he found religion at the lighthouse. and in religion he has found hope. his parents are baptists who also practice voodoo. he's adopted the devout christianity of the manasseros. ♪ you are everything >> reporter: would you be adverse to your kids, if one of the kids said, actually, i'm not a believer, i don't really want to go to prayer service. i don't particularly believe in jesus christ.
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would they still be fed and educated and loved? >> absolutely. >> reporter: two years later at age 18, marc kenson aged out of the lighthouse but was hired as the caretaker of the manasseros' guesthouse. will you go back and help them one day? >> translator: my vision is to help them. i want to build two or three hospitals for free. whosoever doesn't have a house i can help them just like susette is doing. i would have my own orphanage too. >> reporter: but marc kenson's dream and the dreams of cendy jeune and all haiti's children were about to face a major setback. when a powerful earthquake upends their lives. >> go, go, go. i had to quit.
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hi, babies. hi. look at you, guys. ♪ >> reporter: volunteers are critical for the lighthouse. this group included amiese, who wanted her step daughters to learn the value of giving, and robert taylor, a builder. ♪ >> i was with cendy that day, that morning. she was excited about being with the kids. and what they were going to learn that day. >> duck, duck, goose. duck, duck, goose. >> we had just finished playing and taking pictures. we were just being silly. and we had been spinning around in circles, and i had just stopped from spinning, and went over to reach for my purse, and and there's -- a sound started to come.
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>> outside! >> whoa! >> oh, lord, jesus. >> this is amiese's home video, hours later, after dark. >> today is tuesday and the earthquake happened at about 5:30, i think it was about 5:45. and we're back at the orphanage with all of the kids. ♪ alleluia >> reporter: injured and dying people flood the orphanage. medical triage is set up in the courtyard. >> father god, i just ask for healing over them. >> i didn't see cendy at that point. we had this huge area, they call
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it the bend, where we could keep the kids, the boys and the girls, outside in the bin area. it had all open space so it was every aftershock we at least knew nothing was going to fall on those kids and they were going to be okay. and that's when i saw cendy, and cendy was out there and she had her hands up and she was praying. and she was praying. that was the first time i had seen her out there, was on the ground praying with all the other girls. >> reporter: miraculously, little cendy jeune and all of the lighthouse kids have survived the earthquake. >> this is the house behind that came crashing down on a family. while everyone from the orphanage, the girls home and the guesthouse, were saved. >> reporter: after the disaster, cendy became even more reserved than usual. her caregiver novi says she was always selective about who she talked to. now she seems traumatized. >> translator: she's a child.
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she doesn't understand this. she sees things that are broken. she sees people who are sick, bleeding, but she doesn't understand that it was an earthquake. >> get her legs and then the top part of her. last night we had two amputations done. one here, one there. >> reporter: marc kenson has also survived, and immediately started helping in the clinic. >> if we need tables and you know beds set up or whatever, he would be there. the first one to help -- to help do that. >> you're in good hands. i love you, brother. i'll catch up with you, okay. >> reporter: robert taylor, the builder, has taken on the role of doctor. >> this house here became, like, the triage center. so we've seen -- we're
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calculating like 500 people. they were just coming. we were overloaded, understaffed. >> i have to go now. i haven't slept in 27 hours. >> reporter: two days later, everyone's energy is running out. >> and these people have not -- haven't seen a doctor. >> reporter: the manasseros are overwhelmed. >> my husband came out. he shut the gate. he got an interpreter and said, we need to close the doors. we're understaffed. we have no meds to take care of all of you out here. we are so sorry. >> reporter: how do you do that? >> he's like, we have to. there's just no way we can function. there's no help. >> goes against every fiber in your body. >> it does, but everyone around the clock, trying to take care of all the kids and all these people, and my family. >> reporter: with the clinic closed, susette goes to search for matilia, the aunt who gave cendy away to the orphanage. no one has heard from her.
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do they have a lot of damage here? is everybody outside, is that what's going on? >> this is matilia. >> you know why she's crying? she's crying because she doesn't know if her son's alive or if her son died. >> reporter: matilia's eldest son, daniel, is missing, presumed dead. >> he's 25. >> reporter: he supports his mother and five siblings. >> she feels like life is over for her because daniel was the one who financed the family. >> reporter: it is devastating to cendy's relatives. there's so much need here, there's no electricity, no oil or food. tens of thousands of children are sleeping beneath makeshift tents. do you have water? do you have food? >> no water. no food. >> so we've got orphans, the orphans get the most. >> reporter: susette brings food to the people she knows.
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but she cannot spare more. are these children who will be adopted? >> yes, they all have families, for the most part. >> reporter: this place has children sleeping outside in overheated playpens. >> oh, don't cry. don't cry. it's okay. shh. it's okay. >> reporter: it's just too much to bear. they're out of everything. the little ones are losing strength. >> there's lots of people that actually -- at night, all these people just fill this place up. >> reporter: oh, everybody comes? >> they're sleeping here because they're afraid to sleep indoors. >> reporter: god, this country is full of sadness. jesus, god.
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susette can't help them. the lighthouse is also running out of food and water. does it ever feel like 60 kids is just a drop in the bucket? >> all of us get overwhelmed. i have got overwhelmed, but i just really realized that -- >> reporter: you mean you're human? >> i am human. remember that old -- you know the starfish -- >> reporter: right. >> throwing -- where that one starfish, it makes a difference. and that's what i'm learning. >> i'm trying to think about what we should do. >> reporter: but back at the lighthouse, more starfish are about to wash ashore. >> this young woman, her baby, just came from city soleil. she was found crying on the street. >> reporter: the lighthouse is at the breaking point. is there room for more? woman: here's my new windows phone...
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>> oh, my gosh. >> no, no, no. >> reporter: it's been days since the earthquake. the orphanage has no more room, not much food, but needy people keep showing up. >> these guys are just -- started crying in the streets so they helped her. >> so we'll have to think this through. >> her house collapsed. so far all know is her mom was killed. she has nowhere to live. >> you're all by yourself? where's your momma? >> reporter: a debate breaks out over whether the lighthouse can take this woman and her 3-month-old baby girl. susette says no. >> were you here when i said last call for water? i'm sorry. >> i don't know where anything is. >> reporter: susette's daughter, arianna, wants to let the woman stay, though food is running out. >> we may have some more bread over there. so, i think we're pretty good for a couple days.
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>> reporter: the mother has not eaten in a week. >> she breast-feeds her. >> reporter: arianna is persuasive. >> that's beautiful. that god actually spared her life, you know, this little one. it's a miracle. most babies died with their parents. but god saved her life. >> reporter: susette relents. >> okay. >> reporter: they add two more to their shaky circumstances. >> because of the aftershocks, cendy and the girls are sleeping outside. she is surrounded by anxiety and grief. her best friend, erte, was trapped in the rubble. >> i feel everything falling. i sawdust. that's all i could see. and there was a pillar to my right. and the roof was on my left. and i heard people crying, yelling for friends.
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some time i couldn't sleep at night. i'll be like thinking about it so much. >> i don't see the future. because the earthquake broke everything in haiti. >> reporter: the lighthouse boys begin to dream of a different life. ♪ my dream is to fly over america ♪ ♪ so high ♪ my dream is to fly ♪ go to america ♪ and go to school >> if we stay here, we're not going to have anything in the world. >> reporter: it's been almost two weeks since the earthquake, and the situation at ore oranges is even more dire.
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at this orphanage, just two miles away, the babies are sick. what had they been feeding the babies? >> translator: white rice, a little bit of milk. >> reporter: for a newborn baby eating a little rice mush? it gives the babies chronic diarrhea. they're desperate to get out. so the next day, the orphanage workers load over is 100 children into overheated buses and vans and head for the u.s. embassy. just 330 haitian children were adopted by americans in 2009, but they helped persuade the u.s. to increase adoptions because of the earthquake. >> it's hot, and my van is even hotter. and you put all the little babies on there because it's a more comfortable ride, but it's hot. and we've got children throwing
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up. what if i am making the wrong decision? >> reporter: they are turned back. >> we just got a phone call from some guys over at the embassy. they said, not to bring the kids right now. there's still some paperwork that needs to be done. >> reporter: all of the sick and hungry children return to their orphanage. ♪ >> reporter: at the orphanage, planting peace, haitian director john dubon is critical of the missionaries who adopt away haitian children. it seems to me that some the orphanages do adoptions, and some are sort of caretakers of children. >> i would say some of the adoptions agency and there are some shakiness. i don't know. i have to say that. but it was -- >> reporter: you could probably say sketchiness. >> sketchiness. >> reporter: it's not exactly on the up and up, you think? >> right. >> why not?
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>> because there is big money involved in that, and an agency that they're with adoption and there is big, big money involved. and it kind of becomes like a business. when a child grew up and then leave the country and haiti has nothing, nothing back. >> reporter: you think that faith-based groups should not mix the religious part with the giving part? >> it cannot be. >> reporter: marc kenson's sister is among those who've left. when he goes to visit, she's gone. adopted away to a family in texas. is it fair to say that mona thought her best chances were to leave haiti? >> translator: i don't know what she was thinking. i love my country. but if i had the opportunity to leave, i would do it so i could come back and help my country. >> reporter: two weeks after the earthquake, conditions have become even more dangerous. yet the manasseros remain committed to their mission. >> the idea is not that we're
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coming in to necessarily rescue or anything. what we're try to do is try to facilitate the haitian people to be able to do this themselves. >> you want to stay with us, too? >> reporter: soon the manasseros are talking about walking away from everything they've built in haiti, after armed gunmen attack the orphanage at night.
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♪ sing polly wolly doodle all the day ♪ ♪ hah
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>> reporter: two weeks after the earthquake, the orphanage felt almost normal again. ♪ >> reporter: cendy and the girls got ready for bed. marc kenson cleaned up the guesthouse. but outside the security guards are nervous. parts of the walls are still broken from the earthquake. suddenly, something stirs in the dark. >> i woke up to a gunshot blast. when we got up, the guard out back here had chased off a band of thieves.
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>> reporter: as many as 20 armed thieves come over the wall of the guesthouse. the volunteers are terrified. >> marc kenson got a rock in the back of his head. basically, at that point there's a cop that lives across the street, and he came out and fired his weapon and dispersed the crowd. >> reporter: robert taylor had come to do construction, then he became a medic. >> i'm just worried about you as anything else. >> reporter: now he's taking charge of security. >> i want that thing full of gas all night, okay? i don't want this thing to go off. they're kind of casing the place right now. they're kind of looking to check our defenses. see where we're weak. see where we're strong. >> reporter: the next morning, every group of men on the street looks like they could be the thieves. >> do you think it's the ones? >> those four guys walking back and forth, walking back and forth just -- back and forth. >> reporter: the city is short on food, water and fuel. the orphanage has them.
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>> if they want food, they can ask us, we'll give it to them. >> reporter: privately, susette begins to wonder if they should leave haiti all together. >> see you in a minute. >> reporter: susette turns to the police for help. >> can you follow me? >> reporter: they descend on this christian orphanage. >> these four guys walking around? >> right at our gate with guns. >> they were shooting at my guards. >> reporter: the police deliver a single recommendation, get more guns. >> i've got to make one more announcement, okay? >> explain what happened last night. >> okay, okay. you guys heard gunshots last night. there were approximately 20 men. they were armed, they had guns. they tried to get into the guesthouse. they tried to get into our new house that we're renting, so
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right now we do not think it is safe to be here. >> reporter: it's no longer safe to sleep outdoors. the manasseros want to move cendy and the girls into their basement, but the aftershocks still scare the girls. >> i experienced twice earthquake, and i want peace in my heart to sleep in the basement. >> we're in a situation now where we have to choose between sleeping in a house or dealing with people that have guns, which one is more scary to you? >> i don't know. >> we don't have a lot of time. >> reporter: night closes in. they move indoors. >> they all want to sleep in our living room. they can do that. you know, we'll figure out a way. they'll be in our house somewhere. >> okay, they're just petrified. >> handing out shot -- appropriate shotgun shells to
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the security guards. somewhere, i must have missed that chapter in the missionary manual about that. >> okay. >> reporter: even as the children move into their home, robert offers susette a way to leave haiti. >> if i could pull off a ranch in florida and we get a plane here to make it all happen, would you be okay with that, leaving all of this behind? would you be okay? >> temporarily, i guess. >> since the quake, this is our first school day. >> e. >> reporter: what would have happened to cendy and marc
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kenson if you had done that? >> they would had been left behind. i don't know. >> reporter: instead of leaving the children behind, the manasseros stay and open their own school. could you ever see yourself, like when you were thinking about these armed gunmen, leaving without all? >> that's why we couldn't leave. >> reporter: couldn't leave the kids behind? >> no. >> reporter: they've kept the orphanage open. marc kenson olibris can still dream of helping other children the way that the manasseros helped him. >> i remember early on when we first came here the original boys that we had, they made a comment to me. i'll never forget it. one of them said, when things get tough, you guys are going to leave us. i will never, ever, ever forget that. and i'm like, no, we're not. we're not just going to take off just because we can.
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>> reporter: and cendy jeune can still go to kindergarten, even as three-quarters of haiti's schools are in ruins. >> before the earthquake the student, they are -- they're usually happy when they come to work. but after the earthquake, i can say they're very sad. affe affected? >> yeah, they're very sad. >> reporter: it's hard for them? >> yeah. >> reporter: will haiti recover from them? >> you say? >> reporter: will haiti recover? >> no. >> reporter: never? >> never. >> reporter: never? despite his lack of home, he's teaching cendy how to read. >> can you show me the letter "i." clap your hands for cendy. all right. >> reporter: what would you hope for her to be? what, for you, would be cendy at
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her best? >> uh-huh. a self-assured child who loves herself, loves others, loves god. >> reporter: this earthquake, isn't the greatest obstacle, only the latest. ♪ rescue us ♪ we'll rescue them >> bad things happen. earthquakes happen. orphans happen. poverty's here. i wish we didn't have to live here. we're here because we feel we're supposed to be here. cendy's with us because i believe she was brought to us so we're trying to do the best we can with her. you know, there is no absolutes, there is no perfect. >> reporter: no absolutes, no perfect. just two orphans who've faced an uncertain future until the kindness of strangers changed everything. ♪ they will rescue us ♪ we'll rescue them >> reporter: these are the children of haiti's future, rescued, so one day they can rescue their nation. ♪ what are we going to do about these children ♪

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